Publication - Advice and guidance

Building standards technical handbook 2019: non-domestic

The building standards technical handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This handbook applies to a building warrant submitted on or after 1 October 2019 and to building work which does not require a warrant commenced from that date.

Building standards technical handbook 2019: non-domestic
7. Sustainability

7.1 Statement of sustainability

Mandatory Standard

Standard 7.1

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that:

  1. with regard to a dwelling, or school building containing classrooms, a level of sustainability specified by the Scottish Ministers in respect of carbon dioxide emissions, resource use, building flexibility, adaptability, and occupant well-being is achieved

  2. with regard to a non-domestic building other than a school building containing classrooms, a level of sustainability specified by the Scottish Ministers in respect of carbon dioxide emissions is achieved, and

  3. a statement of the level of sustainability achieved is affixed to the dwelling or non-domestic building.

Limitation:

This standard does not apply to:

  1. alterations and extensions to buildings

  2. conversions of buildings

  3. buildings that are ancillary to a dwelling that are stand-alone having an area less than 50 square metres

  4. buildings which will not be heated or cooled other than by heating provided solely for the purpose of frost protection

  5. buildings intended to have a life not exceeding the period specified in regulation 6, or

  6. conservatories.

7.1.0 Statement of sustainability (sustainability label)

The statement of sustainability (sustainability label, or SL) that includes the level of sustainability achieved must be fixed to the building prior to completion. The sustainability label should be indelibly marked and located in a position that is readily accessible, protected from weather and not easily obscured. A suitable location could be in a plant room or the owner may choose to display the label in a more prominent location. An example of an approved label is given in Annex G. A program to generate such a label that is specific to a building is accessed here: http://www.s7sust.co.uk/.

7.1.1 Levels of sustainability for non-domestic buildings

The award of a sustainability label at the baseline level for all non-domestic buildings (including a school building containing classrooms) should be selected from the following defined within clauses 7.1.3 – 7.1.4:

  • Bronze or Bronze Active  

The award of a sustainability label at the upper levels would depend upon meeting all 8 aspects. Aspects cannot be traded-off to achieve a score, reinforcing the approach that sustainable outcomes rely on holistic integrated design. The following optional upper levels are only available for school buildings containing classrooms as defined within clauses 7.1.5 – 7.1.9:

  • Silver or Silver Active

  • Gold  

However, all non-domestic buildings that exceed the mandatory standard by achieving the defined upper level criteria in the aspect of carbon dioxide emissions defined within clauses 7.1.6 and 7.1.9 are welcomed. For example, a new building could have a sustainability label at Bronze Active level, which also indicates that a Gold level has been achieved in the aspect of carbon dioxide emissions. This achievement would be clearly reflected on the sustainability label.

7.1.2 Upper levels of sustainability for school buildings

Optional upper levels of sustainability for a school building containing classrooms should be selected from the following, defined within clauses 7.1.4 - 7.1.9:

  • Silver or Silver Active

  • Gold

The aim is for balance in the setting of upper levels because sustainability is considered in the round rather than focusing on issues of energy or carbon emissions. Reaching upper levels should be a valid target for any new development, regardless of size or location. Generally, levels have been set to avoid individual aspects that could upset applications which might otherwise meet all of the other aspects of sustainability.  

The first optional upper level ‘Silver’ offers substantial benefits in a range of sustainability aspects which should be achievable by most new schools. The second optional upper level ‘Gold’ is a more demanding target, initially aimed at those intent on pursuing best practice.

School buildings that exceed a Gold sustainability level are also welcomed. A third upper level called 'Platinum' has been reserved for further recognition within the building standards system. At present, only the aspect of carbon dioxide emissions has been defined for this level.  

School buildings that exceed Bronze, Bronze Active, Silver, Silver Active or Gold levels by achieving a higher level criteria in one or more of the aspects are welcome and reflected on the sustainability label. However, the achievement of the next upper level (Platinum) will only be recognised once all aspects of that particular level have been included. The award of an overall upper level depends upon meeting all aspects rather than allowing trade-offs to achieve a score, reinforcing the fact that sustainable outcomes rely on holistic integrated design.

The specified levels of sustainability in clauses 7.1.3 to 7.1.9 are sets of measures that are transparent to all including verifiers, planners, funding bodies, and building users.

7.1.3 Bronze level

This is the baseline level for sustainability achieved where a non-domestic building, (including a school building containing classrooms) meets the functional standards set out in Sections 1 – 6 of this Handbook.

7.1.4 Bronze Active level

This is the baseline level where a non-domestic building (including a school building containing classrooms) meets the functional standards set out in Sections 1 – 6 of this Handbook, but in addition the non-domestic building includes the use of a low and zero carbon generating technology (LZCGT) in respect of meeting Standard 6.1 within Section 6, Energy. This level is primarily to assist local authorities to meet their obligations under Section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 by identifying the use of LZCGT. In this respect, LZCGTs include: wind turbines, water turbines, heat pumps (all varieties), solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels, combined heat and power units (fired by low emission sources), fuel cells, biomass boilers/stoves and biogas.

7.1.5 Silver level for school buildings containing classrooms

A school building at this first optional upper level should meet all the standards in Sections 1 – 6 that apply to the building for the Bronze level and, in addition, the school building should comply with the Silver level in each of the eight aspects below.

7.1.6 Carbon dioxide emissions only at Silver level for all other non-domestic buildings

All non-domestic buildings at this first optional upper level (in this aspect only) should meet all the standards in Sections 1 – 6 that apply to the building for the Bronze level and in addition, the building should comply with the following aspect:

Aspect Silver level 1: Carbon dioxide emissions

All new non-domestic buildings that meet or exceed the Target Emissions Rate (TER) detailed in Section 6, Energy of this Handbook, will automatically meet the Silver level criteria in respect of CO2 emissions. This is due to the 43% improvement on the 2010 Standards that occurred in October 2015.

Aspect Silver level 2: Energy for thermal comfort and artificial lighting - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

Sustainability in the first instance should encourage natural means for heating, cooling, and ventilating a building. However it is recognised that it is not always possible to achieve this for all new buildings, there will always be the need for some form of artificial lighting, heating systems and mechanical ventilation.

  1. artificial lighting control: good levels of natural daylight is encouraged in the well-being aspect, therefore artificial lighting control is addressed as part of the energy aspect.  All fixed artificial lighting for:  

    • classrooms to be automatically controlled using presence or absence detection sensors, with daylight photoelectric switching or dimming devices

    • ancillary spaces to be automatically controlled using presence or absence detection switching or dimming devices

    • classrooms and ancillary spaces to have a time operated switch to allow lighting to be automatically turned off when the school is not in operation.  

It is not necessary for this to apply to either emergency lighting or specialist process lighting. An example of specialist process lighting is stage spotlights.  

Automatically controlled presence or absence detection should not be used where this may cause a hazard or inconvenience (e.g. in an accessible toilet, changing places toilet or medical room).

  1. thermal comfort control: in Scotland, the heating season is potentially long, often 8-9 months of the year and therefore heating provision within a building is a key consideration. Schools designed and constructed to meet Section 6, Energy will have a thermally efficient external envelope and benefit from intuitive controls. For all fixed services that use energy for the purpose of providing thermal comfort should have:

    • optimised stop start

    • a dead band thermostat* installed in every teaching space

    • direct acting weather compensation system

    • heat recovery where mechanical ventilation is used.

*A dead band thermostat has a function where no conditioning occurs between a specific temperature range, proposals include energy required for fans.  

  1. effective control of solar gain:  to minimise the potential for summertime overheating all roof lights and south facing window openings should include measures for the effective control of solar gain. Example options are provided in Annex A.  

This does not apply to areas of glazing that form part of an unheated room or space.

Aspect Silver level 3: Water Efficiency - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. water use efficiency: for the most part, Scotland does not suffer from water shortages. However, a significant proportion of energy is used for the abstraction and disposal of water as well as the heating of water for health and hygiene within a school. Therefore addressing water use efficiency is to reduce the energy used throughout the water cycle. Enhanced or additional fittings should be provided as follows:

    • WCs of average flush volume not more than 4.5 litres and fitted with a delayed-action inlet valve

    • wash hand basin taps with a flow rate not more than 6 l/min; fitted with either a timed automatic shut-off or an electronic detection sensor; (an automatic shut off or electronic detection sensor does not have to be provided in an accessible or changing places toilet)

    • shower heads with a maximum flow rate not more than 8 l/min fitted with a timed automatic shut-off (an automatic shut off or does not have to be provided to a shower within an accessible or changing places toilet), and

    • water storage container(s) (with a combined minimum capacity of 200 litres) with an overflow discharging to a SUD system, a soakaway, or an outfall to a watercourse.  

A delayed-action inlet valve for siphon flush toilets saves water by preventing the cistern refilling until the flush cycle is completed.

When specifying water efficient fittings consideration should be given to the operational flow rates that some heating or hot water appliances, such as combination boilers, or point of use or instantaneous water needs to activate their water heating function.  

When installing low volume flush WCs, the pipe diameter and gradient inter-relationship is critical in order that the new and any existing sections of the drain are self-cleansing.  

  1. energy for water heating: at least 10% of the annual energy demand for water heating required should be from heat recovery and/or renewable sources with little or no associated fuel costs (e.g. solar thermal water heating and associated storage).

In areas where a large amount of energy is required for hot water the generating equipment and storage vessels should be situated as near as conveniently possible to where the majority of hot water is used.

A school building is recognised as having a dispersed and occasional hot water use. So to prevent high standing losses for Domestic Hot Water (DHW) localised equipment should be used.   

Point of use/instantaneous electrically heated water is a system where the water is supplied to the draw off points from a device, in which water is heated by an electric element(s), and should be considered where the use of hot water is remote from the main hot water heating systems.  

Where a  system cannot achieve an efficiency of 50% then point of use or instantaneous hot water systems should be used.  

Point of use electrically heated water system should comply with BS EN 60335-2-21. Instantaneous electrically heated water system should comply with BS EN 60335-2-35: 2003.

  1. surface water management: the design and construction of school roofs, and hard surfaces should include one or more of the following Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUD) measures capable of controlling 50% capacity of the predicted rainfall for the overall site and also enhance the biodiversity value of the site:

    • attenuation ponds

    • swales

    • rainwater harvesting for the flushing of WCs

    • permeable surfaces to enable total infiltration of surface water to the underlying ground. Where existing soil types do not permit total infiltration the paved surface may direct surface water to a soakaway, swale, attenuation pond or natural water course

    • a green roof or living wall.   

Designers may have to undertake a risk assessment to manage or alleviate any health and safety concerns that may arise from the inclusion of a SUD measure.    

Where surface water drainage is included as part of an existing community SUDS, the building can utilise an existing system where capacity is available.  

Areas of green roofs, living walls and attenuation ponds included as part of the source control SUDS option may be included as part of the calculation for the overall area dedicated for natural habitat outlined in Aspect 4 Biodiversity.  

Aspect Silver level 4: Biodiversity - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

Biodiversity is highly valued in the school estate. The reasons for inclusion is to minimise the impact of a building development on an existing site, to enhance biodiversity and encourage natural habitats on developments as well as increasing the opportunity for pupils to have greater contact with nature.

  1. allotment: provision of a dedicated area set aside for use as an allotment with an area of at least  5% of the building footprint. The allotment area should contain the following:

    • 2 composting containers with a combined minimum capacity of not less than 160 litre

    • water storage container(s) (with a combined minimum capacity of 200 litres) with an overflow discharging to a SUD system, a soakaway, or an outfall to a watercourse (this can be included as part of the water efficiency measure in Aspect 3 Water Efficiency)

    • dedicated space for a green house with a minimum area of 6m2

    • covered enclosure with a minimum area of 6m2 giving protection from inclement weather for the secure storage of maintenance equipment should also be provided.  

  2. natural boundary: 25% length of the site boundary that does not form part of the building elevation to be defined/augmented by planting or natural features (natural features can include attenuation ponds, woodland, natural habitats and allotments).

  3. natural habitat or native woodland area: provision of a dedicated area of approximately 15% of the overall site area capable of evolving into a designated:

    • natural habitat area, used to support native floral and fauna species, or

    • native woodland area used for species known to attract or benefit local wildlife. 

  4. biodiversity strategy document: provision of an ecological report and a bespoke user guide for the school, for use by pupils, teachers and the wider community related to enhancing biodiversity and developing ecological understanding, prepared by a person with appropriate training, knowledge, experience and skill.

An example of bespoke biodiversity user guide and a guidance template to prepare the user guide can be found in Annex B.

Aspect Silver level 5: Well-being - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. natural daylight: research has shown that good natural daylight is beneficial to a sense of well-being and has the potential to improve academic performance. Schools are primarily occupied during daylight hours and therefore natural daylighting should be the prime means of lighting a school where available. Good levels of natural daylight also reduces the need for artificial lighting. A minimum average daylight factor (DF) of 3% should be achieved in all classrooms at a working plane.

The reference point for the working plane should be between 500 - 900mm from floor level.

For 75% of classrooms where natural daylight is provided, a uniformity ratio should be achieved in the range of:

  • 0.3 to 0.4 for vertical areas (e.g. windows)

  • 0.6 to 0.8 for horizontal areas (e.g. roof lights)

A simplified DF calculation can be found in Annex C.

The guidance given here is written in terms of a applying a simplified calculation. However other calculation tools or techniques may be used (such as daylight calculations used in dynamic simulation modelling or Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) software) provided they are based on one of the following methodologies:

  • CIBSE Guide A: Environmental Design

  • BS EN 8206-2: 2008

  • BRE Digest 309

The benefits of providing natural daylighting generally outweigh the drawbacks. However, there are recognised issues that should be considered when balancing the requirements:           

  • glare particularly from low level winter sun

  • excessive heat gains during summer months

  • safe methods of cleaning glass

  • maximising natural light while meeting the challenging energy standards where a larger glazed area is used.  

  1. indoor air quality monitor: good indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important issue for sustainable school design. Ventilation to maintain IAQ contributes to the health, comfort and well-being of the occupants. Although the occupancy levels of a classroom vary throughout the day, the measuring and monitoring of classrooms will make sure that optimum IAQ is maintained whilst maximising the efficiency of a mechanical ventilation system, where it is used.

All teaching classrooms to have a real-time display monitor that measures the CO2 parts per million (ppm) levels, and temperature (deg C) to alert room occupants when the average concentration of CO2 reaches 1500 ppm when measured at 1500mm above floor level.

  1. acoustics: background noise can be a significant obstacle to effective listening. Favourable classroom acoustics benefit pupils and teachers alike improving pupils’ well-being and educational performance as well as enhance a school's suitability for alternative uses.  

A written design specification, provided by a specialist acoustic consultant to determine appropriate acoustic performance levels for all classrooms which address the following:

  • indoor ambient noise levels including noise from building services 

  • airborne sound insulation between teaching/activity spaces

  • airborne sound insulation between circulation spaces and other occupied spaces

  • impact sound insulation of floors

  • reverberation in teaching and study spaces

  • sound absorption in corridors, entrance halls and stairwells

  • design of open plan areas (where applicable).  

The specialist acoustic report should be prepared by a person with appropriate training, knowledge, experience and skill of school design.  

  1. room height: to assist designers in meeting the specified natural daylight factors and reduce the likelihood of a classroom having increased CO2 concentrations levels, 80% of all classroom areas should achieve an average minimum floor to ceiling height of 3500mm for secondary schools and 3000mm for a primary school.

Aspect Silver level 6: Flexibility and Adaptability - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

Active travel is an approach to travel and transport that focuses on physical activity walking and cycling. The purpose of the guidance is aimed at accommodating staff, pupils and visitors that walk or cycle to school or participate in outdoor activities, by including facilities such as cycle storage, changing facilities, transition spaces, lockers and dedicated drying spaces.

  1. cycle storage  

    Table 7.1. Storage Ratio

    Primary School Secondary Schools
    1 space per 20 staff 1 space per 20 staff
    1 space per 20 pupils 1 space per 10 pupils


    Key cycle storage provisions: 

    • all schools to provide a minimum of 2 spaces for visitors not more than 50m from the principal entrance

    • 50% of overall capacity to provide shelter overhead from inclement weather

    • 50% of overall capacity to be within 100m of the principal entrance of the school building in an area of visual surveillance, protected from vehicular traffic, and which does not cause an obstruction to pedestrian flow

    • all bicycle stands should be securely fixed to a hard surface or a permanent vertical surface

    • for primary schools up to 50% of the cycle storage spaces can be replaced by a non motorised scooter parking facility.

An example of cycle and scooter parking can be found in Annex D.

Accommodating active travel and in particular commuting by cycle may not be appropriate for all schools. (i.e. rural locations where the population is dispersed and routes to the school are not suitable for walking or cycling. Where cycling to school does not form part of an Active Travel Plan a minimum of 2 spaces for visitors not more than 50m from the principal entrance should still be provided.

  1. staff active travel facilities: to support active travel and encourage outdoor activity in all weather conditions the following facilities should be provided on a ratio of 1 per 10 cycle storage spaces, or part thereof; and include:

    • shower

    • seating adjacent to the shower with a minimum dimension of 600mm wide x 400mm deep

    • 2 clothes hooks

    • a secure locker, with a minimum size of 300mm wide, 600mm deep 1200mm high to accommodate outdoor clothing and equipment   

    • a dedicated drying space, with a minimum linear hanging length of 7.2m. 

Where reasonably practicable drying spaces should be designed to be passively heated and ventilated.  

A dedicated drying space designed to be passively heated should have glazed openings located on one or more of the south, east, or west facing elevations. A dedicated drying space should be designed to be naturally ventilated.  

Where the dedicated drying space is not passively heated a heat source should be provided that is independent from the primary heating system and capable of maintaining a temperature of 180C when the outside temperature is -10C and controlled by a time switch.

Where the dedicated drying space is not naturally ventilated, a mechanical extract vent should be provided and have an intermittent capacity of at least 30 l/s (a humidistat at 50-60% relative humidity) or Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) controlled on a time switch.  

It is recommended that internal linings of a dedicated drying space should be of a suitably hygroscopic (moisture absorbing) material.

Where the drying space is not incorporated within the room with the active travel facilities then access should be directly from the active travel facilities.  

Examples of a dedicated drying area are shown in Annex E.  

Active travel facilities can be included as part of a greater quota for the overall school (i.e. where sports changing facilities are present within a school). However where changing and showering facilities are located in a separate building contained within the same campus, there should be at least one space provision for changing and showering within each new building.  

  1. pupil active travel facilities: 1 secure active travel locker per pupil, with a minimum size of 300mm wide, 450mm deep 1200mm high to accommodate active travel equipment i.e. shoes, clothing, helmet, backpack.  For primary school pupils the height of the locker can be reduced to not less than 600mm.

  2. vehicle parking and drop off areas: ‘shared space’ is a design approach that seeks to change the way streets operate. The principle is aimed at prioritising pedestrians and cyclist movement and reducing the dominance of motor vehicles by removing the traditional regulatory functions and formal demarcation, such as signposting, and kerbing.  

Where parking facilities, setting down points and turning circles are provided, these spaces should be designed and constructed to be a level surface with the removal of all kerbs and barriers between footpaths and roads, to encourage shared spaces principles.  

Further information on shared space can be found at: Local transport note – shared space https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-space.

  1. external teaching space: provide an external structure giving overhead protection from inclement weather with an area not less than 35m2 for primary schools and 45m2 for secondary schools for the purpose of facilitating general teaching activities, external performances or outdoor play.

Aspect Silver level 7: Material use and Waste - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

The collection and sorting of solid waste for recycling is an activity that building users can contribute towards. This should include metal, glass, cardboard and paper, plastic and printer/toner cartridges, as well as food and horticulture waste suitable for composting or collection from a bio digestion facility. It helps balance the technical design focus of many of the other aspects because it is part of an adaptive solution to a sustainable future.

  1. recycling of solid waste: a strategy document to be provided as part of the user guide in Aspect 8 which identifies dedicated spaces for the collection and storage of everyday recyclable materials.

A dedicated external storage space to be provided which caters for recyclable materials (including excess food waste that is not composted on site), generated by users of the building during occupation.  

The space allocated should have a washable hard surface area to accommodate waste containers required by the waste collection authority. Convenient access to the contents of the container should be provided to allow removal.

The hard surface may be a collection point designated by the waste collection authority where the container can be removed or emptied. If the hard surface is not the collection point then there should be an accessible route along which the container can be transported to the collection point.  

The storage area should have provision for washing down and draining into a wastewater drainage system. Gullies should incorporate a trap that maintains a seal even during periods of disuse. Walls and floors should be of an impervious surface that can be washed down easily and hygienically.  

Any enclosure for the storage of waste should be designed as to prevent access by vermin unless the waste is to be stored in secure containers with close fitting lids, such as wheeled bins.

Aspect Silver level 8: Optimising Performance - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. user information guide: provide guidance for use by the building occupants on the ways in which all classrooms are intended to function (heating cooling, lighting and ventilation) and how to optimise energy performance. This is additional to the written information to be provided for occupants under Section 6 of the Technical Handbooks.

A summary of information to be affixed at the entrance of each classroom to provide guidance to the building user on the ways in which the specific classroom is intended to function (heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation) and how users can optimise the performance.  

Information on the scope, format and contents of the guide for occupants can be found in Annex F.

  1. resource use displays: install a real-time resource use monitor(s) with the data linked to a visual display located in an easily accessible and readable position at the principal entrance area to the building. For the purpose of teaching, monitoring and recording purposes by pupils staff and the local community that displays energy use for heating, ventilation, cooling, lighting and small power.

7.1.7 Silver Active level

This is the same as the Silver level aspect but, in addition the school includes the use of a low and zero carbon generating technology (LZCGT) in respect of meeting at least one of the aspects: Silver 1, Silver 2 or Silver 3. This level is primarily to assist local authorities to meet their obligations under Section 72 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 by identifying the use of LZCGT. In this respect, LZCGTs include: wind turbines, water turbines, heat pumps (all varieties), solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels, combined heat and power units (fired by low emission sources), fuel cells, biomass boilers/stoves and biogas.

7.1.8 Gold level for school buildings containing classrooms

A school building at this second optional upper level should meet all the standards in Sections 1 – 6 that apply to the building for the Bronze level and in addition the school should comply with the Gold level in each of the eight aspects below.

7.1.9 Carbon dioxide emissions only at Gold level for all other non-domestic buildings

All non-domestic buildings at this first optional upper level (in this aspect only) should meet all the standards in Sections 1 – 6 that apply to the building for the Bronze level and in addition, the building should comply with the following aspects:

Aspect Gold level 1: Carbon dioxide emissions - This aspect applies to all non-domestic buildings.

Under the guidance to Standard 6.1, carbon dioxide emissions (Building Emission Rate) is to be 38% lower than the Target Emission Rate (TER) set by the 2015 Standards.  

To establish this, the TER from the NCM calculation should be multiplied by 0.62, to give a revised figure that the BER should not exceed. (This is equivalent to a 64.3% improvement on the 2010 Standards and a 75% improvement on the 2007 Standards).

Aspect Gold level 2: Energy for thermal comfort and artificial lighting - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. artificial lighting control: provide as for Aspect Silver 2

  2. thermal comfort control: provide as for Aspect Silver 2, including destratification fans in all spaces with a ceiling height greater than 6m

  3. effective control of solar gain: provide as for Aspect Silver 2, including all east, and west facing windows

  4. building management system (including sequential control, zone control, weather compensation, frost protection, night set back including monitoring and targeting)

  5. draught lobby: should be provided to the main entrance of the school building.

A draught lobby is an arrangement of two doors to the principal entrance or exit of a building that reduces unwanted air infiltration. The enclosed space should open into a public circulation area and the door arrangement should be such that a person with a pushchair or similar item is able to close the outer door before opening the inner door. It may be heated or unheated and may provide access to a cloakroom, store or WC.

Aspect Gold level 3: Water Efficiency - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. Enhanced or additional fittings should be provided as follows:

    • WCs of average flush volume not more than 3.5 litres and fitted with a delayed-action inlet valve

    • wash hand basin taps with flow rates to be not more than 4 l/min fitted with either a timed automatic shut-off or an electronic detection sensor (an automatic shut off or electronic detection sensor does not have to be provided in an accessible or changing places  toilet (CPT))

    • shower heads with maximum flow rate not more than 6 l/m with a timed automatic shut-off (an automatic shut off or does not have to be provided to a shower within an accessible or CPT)

    • water storage container(s) (with a combined minimum capacity of 200 litres) with an overflow discharging to a SUD system, a soakaway, or an outfall to a watercourse, and

    • rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling system designed to provide water for toilet flushing.

A delayed-action inlet valve for siphon flush toilets, saves water by preventing the cistern refilling until the flush cycle is completed.  

Where point of use or instantaneous water heating is installed consideration should be given to the flow rates that hot water systems need to activate their water heating function when specifying taps and shower heads with lower flow rates.  

When installing low volume flush WCs, the pipe diameter and gradient inter-relationship is critical in order that the new and any existing sections of the drain are self-cleansing.

  1. energy for water heating: provide as for Aspect Silver 3, except 50% of the annual energy demand for water heating required should be from heat recovery and/or renewable sources with little or no associated fuel costs (e.g. solar thermal water heating and associated storage).  

  2. surface water management: provide as for Aspect Silver 3 except the design and construction of the school roofs, and hard surface should be capable of controlling 100% capacity of the predicted rainfall for the overall site from one or more of the Sustainable Urban Drainage measures described in Aspect Silver 3.

Areas of green roof, living walls and attenuation ponds included as part of the source control SUDS options may be included as part of the calculation for the overall area dedicated for natural habitat outlined in Aspect 4 of Biodiversity.

Aspect Gold level 4: Biodiversity - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. allotment: provide as for Aspect Silver 4.  

  2. natural boundary: provide as for Aspect Silver 4, except 50% length of the site boundary that is not part of the building elevation to be defined/augmented by planting or natural features (natural features can include attenuation ponds, woodland, natural habitats and allotments).  

  3. natural habitat or native woodland area: provide as for Aspect Silver 4, except 30% of the overall site area capable of evolving into a designated:

    • natural habitat area, used to support native floral and fauna species, or

    • native woodland area used for species known to attract or benefit local wildlife.  

  4. biodiversity strategy document: provide as for Aspect Silver 4.

Aspect Gold level 5: Well-being - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. natural daylight: provide as per Aspect Silver 5, except an average daylight factor (DF) of 4% should be achieved in all classrooms at a working plane.

  2. indoor air quality monitor: provide as for Aspect Silver 5 and, where a room uses mechanical ventilation as the prime means of ventilating the room, this should be linked to automatic controls to make sure the average concentration of CO2 does not exceed 1500 ppm when measured at 1500mm above floor level.  

  3. acoustics: a written report and design specification provided by an acoustic consultant that meets the performance standards in Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic design in schools (BB93) for all classrooms. The specialist acoustic report should be prepared by a person with relevant expertise in acoustics for school design.  

To assist in making certain that acoustic performance standards are met, acoustic testing of indoor ambient, airborne, and impact noise levels should be undertaken in at least one room in every four of each type of classroom. This should include rooms on the noisiest elevation; measurements should be taken vertically and horizontally between adjacent classrooms.  

These classrooms should be finished and unoccupied. It is not intended that measurements should be taken between circulation spaces, entrance halls and stairwells. Measurements should be made when external noise levels are representative of conditions during normal school operation.  

Where there is a failure to meet the performance standards in any of the classrooms an additional classroom should be identified and tested. Should the additionally tested classrooms also fail then all of the remaining classrooms must be tested and remedial treatment carried out.  

Acoustic testing should be carried out by persons who can demonstrate relevant, recognised expertise in acoustics for sound insulation testing of buildings and carried out in accordance with the methods described in ‘The Good Practice Guide’ for the acoustic testing of schools published by the Association of Noise Consultants.  

  1. room height: provide as for Aspect Silver 5.

Aspect Gold level 6: Flexibility and Adaptability - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. cycle storage

    Table 7.2. Storage Ratio

    Primary schools Secondary schools
    1 space per 10 staff 1 space per 10 staff
    1 space per 10 pupils 1 space per 5 pupils

    Key cycle storage provisions: provide as for Aspect Silver 6

  2. staff facilities for active travel: provide as for Aspect Silver 6  

  3. pupil facilities for active travel: provide as for Aspect Silver 6  

  4. vehicle parking and drop off: provide as for Aspect Silver 6  

  5. external teaching space: provide as for Aspect Silver 6 including the following:

    • 1 additional external teaching space should be provided for every 250 pupils or part thereof

    • for schools with a designed overall capacity more than 1000 pupils, provision can be reduced to 1 structure per additional 400 pupils for the necessary capacity over 1000

    • 1 fixed external seat per 10 pupils - seat height for children to conform to BS EN 1729, School Furniture UK.  

  6. accessibility: the principal accessible entrance doors to the building should be provided with an automatic powered opening and closing device as detailed in Section 4, Safety (clauses 4.1.7 and 4.18).   

  7. Changing Places Toilet (CPT): a CPT is a toilet with a changing facility that is suitable for use by people that have profound and multiple learning disabilities or other disabilities and for whom standard accessible toilets may not be fit for purpose and should be provided for all Secondary Schools which have all of the following facilities:

    • Library   

    • Swimming Pool

    • Sports Hall

    • Community meeting rooms.  

A typical CPT installation should include the following key elements:  

  • adequate space (12m2) to allow a user to be assisted by carers

  • a minimum ceiling height of 2.4m

  • a wall or ceiling mounted tracking hoist

  • a centrally placed WC with space either side for the carers

  • a height adjustable wash hand basin

  • a non-slip floor finish

  • a door with a minimum clear opening width of 1m.  

In addition to the building related elements, a fully equipped CPT relies on the installation of additional equipment and specialist fittings, such as a height adjustable adult sized changing bench (min 1.8m in length). Further information, including a full specification, can be found at the website of the Changing Places Consortium and BS 8300: 2009.  

To be registered on the Changing Places’ national register all new CPTs need to meet the standards specified by the Changing Places Consortium (CPC).

Aspect Gold level 7: Material Use and Waste - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. recycling of solid waste: provide as for Aspect Silver 7.

  2. construction site waste management plan: by consideration of waste minimisation arising from the built-form, the following information should be recorded:  

    • construction waste generated on-site

    • procedures to sort, reuse and recycled on-site construction waste.  

The quantity of construction waste produced from excavations does not have to be recorded as this is site dependant. However best practice recommends that where possible excavation material should be diverted from landfill.  

Likewise it is not possible to reduce demolition waste as this is also dependant on existing site circumstances. It may however be possible to reuse demolition materials in a bid to reduce the amount of new materials required.

Aspect Gold level 8: Optimising Performance - This aspect only applies to school buildings containing classrooms.

  1. User Guide: provided as for Aspect Silver 7.  

  2. Resource use displays: provided as for Aspect Silver 7, including the capability for the information provided from the resource use display to have the data collected and recorded centrally to allow for comparison over a period of time.

7.1.10 Carbon dioxide emissions only at Platinum level for all other non-domestic buildings

All non-domestic buildings at this third optional upper level (in this aspect only) should meet all the standards in Sections 1 – 6 that apply to the building for the Bronze level, and in addition the building should comply with the following aspect:

Aspect Platinum level 1: Carbon dioxide emissions - This aspect only applies to all non-domestic buildings.

Under the guidance to Standard 6.1, the carbon dioxide emissions (Building Emission Rate) is to be 100% lower than the Target Emission Rate set by the 2010 Standards. To establish this, the BER from the NCM calculation should not exceed zero (this net zero carbon equivalent is a 100% improvement on the 2007 Standards).

Aspect Platinum level 2: Energy for thermal comfort and artificial lighting

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 3: Water Efficiency

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 4: Biodiversity

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 5: Well-being

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 6: Flexibility and Adaptability

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 7: Material Use and Waste

Not currently defined.

Aspect Platinum level 8: Optimising Performance

Not currently defined.